Thursday, May 23, 2013

People v. Alvarado case brief

People v. Alvarado case brief 23 Cal.Rptr.3d 391

CASE SYNOPSIS: A jury of the Superior Court of San Diego County, California, found defendant guilty of animal cruelty, Cal. Penal Code § 597(a), in the killing of two dogs. The trial court instructed the jury on general, rather than specific, intent. Defendant appealed.

FACTS: Defendant argued that the trial court should have instructed that he had to have acted with the specific intent to maim, mutilate, torture, wound, or kill the dogs. As an initial matter, the court found that defendant did not waive his argument, despite a failure to object, noting that the law imposed on the trial court a sua sponte duty to properly instruct the jury on the relevant law, including intent. On the substance, the court found that animal cruelty was a general intent crime and therefore that the instruction was proper. Section 597(a) did not state that an offender under that section had to have an intent to do some further act or achieve some further consequence other than the proscribed acts. It did not contain a phrase such as "with the intent to" or "for the purpose of" that would be used in a specific intent crime. Further, use of the words "maliciously and intentionally" did not turn § 597(a) into a specific intent statute. The court also found unavailing the argument that the listed wrongful conduct described the ultimate result, rather than the initial acts. Regardless, the language described the act itself, and no further purpose was required.

CONCLUSION: The court affirmed the judgment.

Interested in learning how to get the top grades in your law school classes? Want to learn how to study smarter than your competition? Interested in transferring to a high ranked school?

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...